Working for the drug industry
Pharmaceutical medicine offers a challenging and rewarding medical career, says Stephen Jones
Pharmaceutical medicine became a recognised specialty in 2002 It provides the opportunity to advance the therapeutic armamentarium available to clinicians, and the satisfaction that you are helping patients worldwide. After working in the NHS for five years I switched to the drug industry and found my knowledge and skills transferable.
Activities in the industry differ depending on the stage in a drug's development. Before a drug can be marketed the industry has to show appropriate manufacturing standards and establish the drug's risk-benefit profile (using information from toxicology and clinical trials). The prospectively collected safety and efficacy data are put before the regulatory authorities, who evaluate whether the efficacy shown outweighs the risk or potential risk. If the balance is favourable the drug may be approved for marketing. If it is approved, postmarketing activities include marketing for any indications agreed with the local regulatory authority and continuous safety monitoring. Additional (phase